It turns out that Matt Gaetz was right. The man trying to extort 25 million from him and his father was just arrested and charged with extortion:
POLITICO – A Florida developer and fraud convict was arrested Tuesday on a charge that he tried to extort $25 million from the father of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in exchange for a presidential pardon that would shut down a high-profile, criminal sex-trafficking investigation into the lawmaker.
Stephen Alford, 62, of Fort Walton Beach, was indicted on charges of wire fraud and destruction of property subject to a seizure warrant.
The indictment alleges that in March and April of this year, Alford attempted to get Gaetz’s wealthy father, Don, to pay the large sum as part of a complex deal dubbed “Project Homecoming.” The scheme Alford promoted would also have funded a private effort to rescue a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007, Robert Levinson. U.S. officials said last year they believe Levinson was arrested and later died in Iranian custody, but Iran has publicly denied arresting Levinson. His body has never been found.
According to the indictment, Alford said he could “guarantee” that one of Don Gaetz’s family members would not go to prison if the money Alford demanded was paid. Don Gaetz told POLITICO in March that he wore a wire at the FBI’s request. Many of the quotes and details in the indictment appear to come from the discussions he recorded.
The indictment refers to Don Gaetz, a former Florida state Senate leader, as “D.G.” and describes the investigation to be extinguished as one “by the FBI for various public corruption and public integrity issues.”
Politico writes that Gaetz, himself, is still under investigation:
Matt Gaetz remains under federal investigation over his travels with young women and payments he made to women he had sexual relationships with. He has denied having sex with anyone underage and has described the payments as ordinary for people who are dating.
No charges against Gaetz have been filed, although investigators have interviewed many of his associates, including past girlfriends.
Also remember that Joel Greenberg, a longtime friend of Gaetz’s, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors all the way back in May on the investigation. Many on the left thought that would be the demise of Gaetz, but so far he’s still in the clear. If Greenberg really had the goods on Gaetz, I’d think he’d be arrested by now.
Either way, this is great news for Gaetz and I’m glad Alford has been arrested and charged.